The 30th anniversary of The Terminator is upon us. The sci-fi movie that launched James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger into super stardom changed the face of the genre and kick-started a franchise that is almost as strong today — with the upcoming release of Terminator: Genisys (oh, that title) — as it was back in 1984. Here are e fascinating facts about the original Terminator.
1. Sprained Ankle
Just before shooting The Terminator in March 1984, Linda Hamilton sprained her ankle. Producers had to re-schedule all her running and action scene until later in the production schedule to give her ankle time to heal. Despite the delays, you can still watch Linda Hamilton running with a slight limp during her action scenes in the latter half of the movie.
2. James Cameron’s Cameo
James Cameron makes an off-screen voice cameo in almost all of his movies, including The Terminator. He’s the voice of the person on the answering machine breaking his date with Sarah Connor at the beginning of the film and the voice of the motel clerk at the end.
Fun fact: James Cameron and Linda Hamilton dated after making Terminator 2: Judgment Day and eventually got married. They got divorced two years after they wed. So the answering machine message was also a glimpse into the future.
3. James Cameron Wanted Arnold to Play Kyle Reese
Originally, the T-800 was conceived as an every man who was able to blend in with big crowds of people, so before meeting each other James Cameron wanted Arnold Schwarzenegger to play the role of Kyle Reese, the hero. But after meeting, it was clear that Schwarzenegger had to play The Terminator, namely because he’s larger than life with a great on-screen presence, but he also had very limited acting range at the time. Arnold Schwarzenegger could do wonders with a mostly silent, but haunting and menacing presence like the T-800.
Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, and Sting were also considered for the role of Kyle Reese, but it eventually went to Michael Biehn.
James Cameron’s German Shepard Wolfie can be seen during the Tiki Motel scene and in the jeep with Sarah Connor at the end of the film. Wolfie was also namedropped during Terminator 2: Judgment Day.